Earthings. We are all Earthlings sharing this planet of ours. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, in 2005 a man named Shaun Monson wrote, directed & produced a documentary called “Earthlings”. Basically it’s a film about the relationship between humans & animals documenting all the horrific ways we treat them.
I’d never heard about the documentary until #farm365 began on twitter this January. In talking with vegans who attacked & hi-jacked the sharing of daily farm pictures on twitter, a reoccurring documentary began to be mentioned, “Earthlings”. After a few debates with similar arguments, quotes and the term “Speciesism” being used, I decided to see what had “changed their whole worlds”. I sat down and watched “Earthlings”. Guess what? Didn’t change my life.
First off I’d like to say showing an hour & half of the most horrific videos you can find of human atrocities against animals is not a fair representation of “Earthlings”. At the end of the documentary they list where the video’s used in the film came from & surprise, surprise guess who was listed first, PETA. I even recognized some that have been proven to have been produced & made by PETA to falsely show animal cruelty. Honestly ask yourself, what farmer walks into his turkey barn with a machete & just starts swinging killing birds leaving them there? If it doesn’t make sense, odds are it’s not true.
Second, “Earthlings” starts off denoting that we’re all “Earthlings”. That we should all show peace & love to our fellow earthlings that share our planet. But wait, not all earthlings show that compassion to others. There are herbivores & carnivores on this planet. A key piece of nature the film conveniently left out by showing 99% herbivores in its arguement that humans are horrible creatures. One lion was shown with something in its mouth so I can’t say 100% but was not shown killing it. Some beings kill other beings, some “earthlings” kill other earthlings. That’s nature’s way, life & death. Often in the wild it’s quite brutal and horrible when one animal kills another. They may even begin to eat the other animal before it’s dead. That’s nature but that’s not what “Earthlings” would have you know happens. Earthlings aims to show the viewer that humans perpetuate some of the worst atrocities against our fellow earthlings. Earth is full of many diverse animals just as humanity is filled with many diverse cultures. Another thing the film tries to ignore. We are all humans & therefore must all think alike. Different cultures practice different rituals, ie halal killings & Japanese diet for sea food. I really find it disturbing the documentary tries to paint us all with the same brush. I believe in respecting others cultures. Yes, we all must live together but in doing that we must learn to respect other’s cultures & beliefs. It is the disrespect for that which causes wars, genocides & other atrocities against our fellow-man.
So does “Earthlings” make a point? Yes. But you have to understand there’s more to the story. Many practices shown are fringe practices. Even the film admitted of one scene that it was not allowed. That they were breaking the rules set out. So what’s your point of showing it then? Humans aren’t perfect, there’s evil & wrong in this world. Doesn’t mean there isn’t good & good people doing good practices in the world. Just means we have to have a system in place to ensure proper practices are followed which at least in Canada we have. Is it flawless, no, but it’s ever evolving & improving. We must support it, not tear it down.
Finally I will leave you with some research I did on the film after I watched it. It was released in 2005. A couple of years ago the producers announced they would be releasing an updated version in 2015 with hi-def under cover video. But nothing beyond that promise & no release date. Maybe they realized using 30 years worth of stockpiled old PETA film can’t be reproduced in 2 years, that animal welfare has improved & is continuing to improve. That we can spot a fake PETA film & it’s not just a simple case of going out & filming a farm to get “footage” to use as propoganda. That it’s not as bad as they can make it look.